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‘A very special book about a family with a secret. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me think.’ Liane Moriarty, No. 1 bestselling author of THE HUSBAND’S SECRET

Laurie Frankel’s THIS IS HOW IT ALWAYS IS the ‘fascinating story of a thoroughly modern family and the giant, multifaceted love that binds them… Sparkles with wit and wisdom’ (Maria Semple). Perfect for readers of WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES and THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY.

This is how a family keeps a secret…and how that secret ends up keeping them.

This is how a family lives happily ever after…until happily ever after becomes complicated.

This is how children change…and then change the world.

This is Claude. He’s five years old, the youngest of five brothers, and loves peanut butter sandwiches. He also loves wearing a dress, and dreams of being a princess.
When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl.

Rosie and Penn want Claude to be whoever Claude wants to be. They’re just not sure they’re ready to share that with the world. Soon the entire family is keeping Claude’s secret. Until one day it explodes.

Laurie Frankel’s THIS IS HOW IT ALWAYS IS is a novel about revelations, transformations, fairy tales, and family. And it’s about the ways this is how it always is: Change is always hard and miraculous and hard again, parenting is always a leap into the unknown with crossed fingers and full hearts, children grow but not always according to plan. And families with secrets don’t get to keep them forever.

‘An intelligent, life-affirming, emotionally charged story’ Prima

Reviews

A beguiling tale of a sprawling, loving, ever-changing, unconventional and yet completely typical modern family... Wonderfully moving
Garth Stein, author of THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN
An astonishing balance of humour, complexity, and above all, kindness
Ruth Ozeki, bestselling author of A TALE FOR THE TIME BEING
A lively and fascinating story of a thoroughly modern family and the giant, multifaceted love that binds them. THIS IS HOW IT ALWAYS IS sparkles with wit and wisdom
Maria Semple, bestselling author of WHERE'D YOU GO, BERNADETTE
With emotional acuity, admirable bravery, utter compassion, and complete understanding, [Frankel has] created a family attempting to forge a path through one of life's most mystifying challenges: how to define what it is that makes your child who he or she is: unique, beloved, and whole. This is a novel everyone should read. It's brilliant. It's bold. And it's time
Elizabeth George, bestselling author of A BANQUET OF CONSEQUENCES
I was lucky enough to receive an advance reading copy of this very special book about a family with a secret. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me think.
Liane Moriarty, bestselling author of THE HUSBAND'S SECRET and TRUE LITTLE LIES
Heart-warming and funny... I found this both unputdownable and enlightening. I'm so glad I've read it - I know so much more about life now
Katie Fforde
A beautiful, thought-provoking novel that will make you think differently about the world
Adele Parks
An intelligent, life-affirming, emotionally charged story. This is a very relevant read for today's world - it'll make you laugh and cry
Prima
Thought-provoking and topical
Woman & Home
Wonderful, magical
Red
This wise and often funny novel is a compassionate lesson in discovering and welcoming what makes each of us unique
Redbook
Sharp and surprising. This is a wonderfully contradictory story - heartwarming and generous, yet written with a wry sensibility
Publishers Weekly
This big-hearted novel about a family with a transgender child is in the lead for the most sensitively and sincerely told story of 2017... Frankel's portrayal of even the most open-hearted parents' doubts and fears around a child's gender identity elevates this novel
People, 'Book of the Week'
A fresh new voice
Glamour
A touching novel
Good Housekeeping
A tender, endearingly human piece of work
Straits Times
A heart-warming and bittersweet story of identity and family
Irish Country Magazine
Huge heart, humour and compassion. A sparkling tale about the power of secrets, loyalty and love, this novel is wonderfully engaging, gorgeously written and has characters that will captivate you
Sunday Mirror
Written with wry humour and compassion, this is a personal story of parenting, love and understanding
Sunday Express
Deeply satisfying...An intimate family story...Day-to-day parenting dilemmas are where Frankel shines
New York Times Book Review
Brave, complicated, occasionally horrifying and frequently very funny...Frankel is a first-rate storyteller
Seattle Times